Head On

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Head On

Released in 1998 and directed by Ana Kokkinos, Head On explores the life of a confused 19 year-old Greek-Australian grappling with his repressed identity amidst the forces of his immigrant family and their place in urban Melbourne. The film, starring Alex Dimitriades, gained many awards, such as the Grand Jury Award at L.A. Outfest.

Date and Switch

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Date and Switch

Released in 2014 and directed by Chris Nelson, Date and Switch is a twist on the typical high school comedy, filmed in Vancouver. Two best friends, Matty and Michael, played by Hunter Cope and Nicholas Braun, respectively, promising to get laid before senior prom. Their plan takes a turn when Matty comes out of the closet, with hilarious and endearing results.

Little Gay Boy Christ Is Dead

Little Gay Boy, Gay Essential Talks to Antony Hickling

In the beginning, the harshness of these films, complete with their aforementioned surrealist edge, made things difficult. Nobody seemed interested in screening them, deeming them as too controversial. Some even called them homophobic and Hickling recalls, “I was criticized not only by the straight community but also by the gay community. But I think that as the work started being shown and selected, people started to re-look and re-think.”

Black Ocean

Gay Essential Films To Watch, Black Ocean (Noir océan)

Black Ocean, written and directed by Marion Hänsel and first screened at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival, tells the story of three young men aboard a French naval vessel in the South Pacific in 1972. Adrien Jolivet, Nicolas Robin, and Romain David star as the three young sailors in this Belgian coming-of-age story, loosely based on the short stories of Hubert Mingarelli.

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